Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Alaska’s Budget Deficit: Have we really cut enough?

In a large statewide poll conducted by Hellenthal and Associates in the spring of 2017, Alaskan voters agreed with the following statement by a two-to-one margin: “The state budget needs to be drastically reduced.”  A December 2017 analysis from Key Policy Data (KPD) would seem to confirm that the...
January 7th, 2018 | Fiscal Policy, Policy, tax changes, Taxes | Read More

Should Public School Funds be Used for Education?

by David Nees Sometimes the simplest question has the most revealing answer. The State School Board met in Sitka from Sept 16-19. It had the usual tour of Mt. Edgecumbe School, the only one it operates as a Board.  Then it got down to the usual regulatory business. The Board had a number of big interest...
September 27th, 2015 | Education, Policy | Read More

Film Tax Credits–Folly or Not?

Now that Alaska is in a budget crunch due to the drastic fall in oil prices, the state needs to take another look at its so-called Film Tax Credit program to determine if the returns are worth the investment.  Even if the state were not in a fiscal crunch, this program should be reviewed for its benefits...
February 19th, 2015 | Fiscal Policy, Policy, tax changes | Read More

Can the EPA “Take” Property Without Due Process?

(Cato Institute, Timothy Sandefur) The Environmental Protection Agency has many administrative powers including the use of compliance orders to deny property owners the right to use their property without judicial recourse. In Idaho, Michael and Chantelle Sackett purchased property on which to build...
January 5th, 2012 | Policy | Read More

Fairbanks Borough Takes a Mulligan on Redistricting

By: Lance Roberts On June 23rd the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly, with a large audience attending, voted 8-1 for Resolution 2011-26, which would protest the State of Alaska’s Redistricting Board’s final redistricting map. That night the audience was heavily favored by those who support a...
July 5th, 2011 | Policy, Recent News | Read More

AKWatchdog: Budget forums target police department for cuts

After the Municipality of Anchorage hosted a series of public forums on the upcoming FY 2012 budget, a report on the discussions reveals many taxpayers would like to see budget cuts within the police department. With an estimated city budget shortfall of up to $18 million, the forums gave Anchorage residents...
September 15th, 2010 | Policy | Read More

Alaska Watchdog:Boroughs to end financial disclosure laws

An often overlooked provision in Alaska statute allows cities to exempt themselves from campaign financial disclosure requirements, and several Alaskan boroughs have made the move to include the exemptions on the upcoming October ballots. On Tuesday night, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly introduced an ordinance...
August 5th, 2010 | Policy, Transparency | Read More

Unfunded pension liabilities drastically underestimated

(NCAP) Recent reports state that due to over-estimated discount rates, the public employee retirement pension liabilities of many state and local governments have been under-estimated by 75-86 percent. Read the article <here>
July 30th, 2010 | Fiscal Policy, Policy | Read More

Responsible ways to stop digging the debt hole

(The Heritage Foundation) When Gallup recently polled Americans on the biggest threat to America’s future well-being, the escalating national debt tied terrorism at the top. They’re right to worry. Washington’s debt is on a completely unsustainable path. The Congressional Budget Office...
July 20th, 2010 | Economics, Policy | Read More

State rolls millions in to General Fund

( After several years of internal discussion and organization, the Legislative Finance Division has completed a project that adds more than $750 million into the General Fund in an effort to simplify State finances. Legislative Fiscal Analyst David Teal said the Budget Clarification...
July 16th, 2010 | Fiscal Policy, Policy, Transparency | Read More

Indiana Legislators push for Transparency Website

STATEHOUSE (June 24, 2010) – Senate Republican leaders today proposed the Daniels administration unilaterally move forward without a legislative mandate on a new “transparency website” showing budgets and spending by Indiana state government. The key GOP senators said the site should later be expanded...
June 28th, 2010 | Accountability, Fiscal Policy, Policy | Read More

Signatories of petitions now subject to rules of Open Government

(The Spokesman-Review) The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a big victory for open government when it ruled that political petition signers do not have a broad First Amendment guarantee to hide their names from public view. The 8-1 decision stemmed from a challenge by a Washington state religious group,...
June 25th, 2010 | Accountability, Policy | Read More

Medicaid: facing a tough road

(The Heritage Foundation) In passing Obamacare, Congress has put the states in quite a pickle. To sharply expand health coverage, Obamacare flung wide the gates of Medicaid eligibility. It envisions a massive expansion of the federal-state health program that, historically, delivers low-quality care...
June 11th, 2010 | Economics, Fiscal Policy, Health Care, Policy | Read More

Union bail-out has Republican supporters

(Michigan Capitol Confidential) Michigan Congressman Thad McCotter, R-Livonia, is one of just nine Republicans nationwide to co-sponsor legislation that seeks to bail out union pension funds and put taxpayers “on the hook for $165 billion in unfunded union pension liabilities,” according...
June 9th, 2010 | Economics, Fiscal Policy, Policy | Read More

Anchorage VA clinic: $76mil, 184,000 square feet

(KTUU) Patients and staffers at Anchorage’s veterans’ clinic have waited two years for this day: the opening of their new building on North Muldoon Road. Less than seven miles from the site of the new crime lab, the new clinic measures 184,000 square feet, but with a price tag that should...
May 17th, 2010 | Accountability, Economics, Issues, Policy | Read More

Promised healthcare premium decrease turns to increase

(AP) New healthcare legislation allowing adults to remain under the coverage of their parents’ plan is expected to raise premiums near 1 percent. This coming despite the campaign promise that premiums would be reduced by 2,500 per average family. Read the article <here>
May 11th, 2010 | Health Care, Policy, Recent News | Read More